Despite facing a potential contempt of Congress charge for his refusal to break former President Donald Trump's executive privilege, a defiant former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Newsmax he will not back down to the "partisan attack" committee.
"This is a partisan attack on one of the most important issues in executive decision-making, which is executive privilege," Navarro told Thursday's "Prime News" with Jenn Pellegrino. "If a president can't have his top adviser to be able to speak candidly to him, he cannot craft good policy.
"And that goes back to George Washington and the original Congress — a long history of the desk."
The Jan. 6 Select Committee on Thursday was moving toward holding Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino, who was a Trump deputy chief of staff, in contempt of Congress. The committee will hold a business meeting Monday to vote on a report recommending the full House cite them for contempt of Congress and refer them for federal prosecution.
"President Trump has invoked executive privilege; I don't have the authority to waive that privilege, so my hands are tied on that," Navarro told co-hosts Pellegrino and Lyndsay Keith. "I've told the committee quite candidly, 'Look, that's between you, the president, and his lawyers. If he waives the privilege, I'd be happy to come see ya. Until he does, I'm going to defend a principle that is really critical to this republic, which is executive privilege.'"
Navarro is declining to speak about confidential communications with the then-president about the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.
"Of course, we all know this is a partisan witch hunt," Navarro continued. "If you look at the composition of that committee, it's people who have been trying to take down Trump from day one, mostly Democrats, but also Liz Cheney, the trader Republican."
Rep. Cheney, R-Wyo., has been opposed to Trump for his critical position on her father's time as vice president and for declaring war on Iraq under the unproven premise of weapons of mass destruction.
Navarro added the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol was not anything that served Trump, but worked to further undermine him and his allegations of a fraudulent election of Joe Biden.
"Look, I want to get to the bottom of what happened on Jan. 6," Navarro concluded. "But the big questions I want to get answered are:
- "Why did Nancy Pelosi not guard the perimeter?
- "Why weren't the Capitol Hill police there when President Trump told them there was danger?
- "Why did the Pentagon itself keep national Guardsmen far from it?
- "Most of all, I want to know why those FBI informants were around that Capitol building possibly instigating that violence.
"There's a lot of questions to be answered, but I can tell you, and I document this in my 'Trump Time' book: The last three people on God's good earth that wanted chaos and violence on Capitol Hill that day were the president, Steve Bannon, and myself. That's the last thing we wanted, and that committee is barking up the wrong tree and really trying to destroy this republic with its partisan attack on executive privilege."
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Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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